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Actual Causality$
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Joseph Y. Halpern

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035026

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035026.001.0001

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Explanation

Explanation

Chapter:
(p.187) Chapter 7 Explanation
Source:
Actual Causality
Author(s):

Joseph Y. Halpern

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262035026.003.0007

The structural-equations framework is used to provide a definition of causal explanation. Essentially, an explanation is a fact that is not known for certain but, if found to be true, would constitute an actual cause of the fact to be explained, regardless of the agent's initial uncertainty. This definition is shown to handle well a number of problematic examples from the literature. It can also be extended in a natural way to provide several notions of partial explanation and explanatory power.

Keywords:   (Causal) explanation, Partial explanation, Explanatory power

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